2 big cases reinforce: Beware adverse action against employees who report wrongdoing

Two California Court of Appeal districts have significantly ex­­panded employee protection for whistle-blowers. The cases highlight that employees don’t actually have to “blow the whistle” to be protected from retaliation.

Minnesota State Supreme Court extends time for whistle-blowers to file

The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned 20 years of precedent, ruling that some whistle-blower cases may be filed up to six years following an employer’s discriminatory act.

Employee's discrimination complaint shouldn't derail legitimate discipline

Some employees think they can keep from getting fired by going to HR or the EEOC with a discrimination complaint. Then, they reason, if their employer does terminate them, it will be retaliation. Fortunately, that’s not true.

Whistle-blower alert: Beware punishing employees who report customer wrongdoing


You may prefer a “don’t rock the boat” mentality when it comes to reporting to police or other governmental authorities that a customer may be breaking the law. That doesn’t mean you can force employees to remain silent—or worse yet, punish them for going to authorities. Doing that could cost a fortune in damage awards, especially if it turns out that your employee was right.

Jury trial approved for retaliatory discharge claims

Employees who claim they were fired for seeking workers’ comp benefits are entitled to a jury trial. That can result in big damages, as juries are notoriously prone to making employers pay.

Not every complaint amounts to protected activity


It’s illegal to retaliate against employees for engaging in protected activity. But not every complaint qualifies as protected activity. For example, under Title VII, retaliation is only illegal if it relates to a complaint about some form of discrimination covered by that law.

False arrest can be retaliation

It’s almost always a bad idea to make an example out of a terminated employee.

Whistle-blower wins settlement with railroad

Fort Worth-based Burlington North­ern Santa Fe Railroad has agreed to pay a North Dakota employee $30,000 in back pay to settle an OSHA whistle-blower complaint he filed against the railroad.

Beware firing right after EEOC complaint

Here’s a warning on discharge timing: If you happen to make the final termination decision right after the employee files an EEOC charge, timing alone may be enough to send the case to trial.

10 mistakes that crush your ability to win a retaliation lawsuit


When employees complain internally about discrimination or lodge a complaint with an outside agency like the EEOC, they’ve en­gaged in what’s called “protected activity.” They may not be correct about the discrimination, but if the employer retaliated against an em­­ployee for complaining in the first place, they could win a large jury award anyway.

Employee complained in the past? Keep that info from new supervisor

Here’s an easy way to stop retaliation lawsuits: If an employee has complained in the past about harassment, discrimination or other legal wrongs, make sure that information stays confidential.

Former manager smells blood, files whistle-blower lawsuit

The former billing manager for Abing­­ton Memorial Hospital in Mont­­gomery County, Pennsylvania, has filed a ­­whistle-blower suit against her former employer. She claims she was fired for alleging that the hospital lab mislabeled blood samples to increase the fees it could charge.

Employee testifies in lawsuit: That's protected activity

Goodwill Industries will pay $100,000 to settle a long-standing lawsuit for retaliation filed by the EEOC.

Same job, different office: Is that considered retaliation?

Some employees believe that anything negative that happens after filing a complaint must be retaliation. Not true.

Put an immediate stop to co-worker harassment over FMLA use

Some supervisors and co-workers who don’t have children may resent having to pick up the perceived slack while the new mom or dad is home with their bundle of joy. The same may be true if other employees view someone’s FMLA use as frivolous or unnecessary. When co-workers or supervisors ridicule other employees for using FMLA leave, that may be retaliation.
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